Visiting the Celestial Empire — our trip to China

By Chris A Hale

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, July 28 2012 3:00 p.m. MDT

On our last afternoon, we visited the Beijing Zoo. The pandas were well taken care of, but, by American standards, the rest of the zoo was a little depressing. Most of the other animals were in paddocks that were too small for their species. No trees, toys, and in some cases very little water was available.

Our last stop before returning home was the enormous Bei Hai Park just north of the Forbidden City. The Chinese are a very communal people, and it was so much fun to watch them dance and sing in full costume, do Tai Chi and play poker. We were thoroughly entertained to watch older masters of Chinese calligraphy practice and teach their techniques to younger students with large water brushes on the pavement.